Boston University

“To pursue knowledge of God, To cultivate leaders for communities of faith, To enrich the academy, and To seek peace with justice in a diverse and interconnected world.”

Description of PhD Program

The Doctor of Philosophy in Theological Studies (PhD) program is offered to students wishing to enhance their knowledge and competence in teaching and research and to contribute to scholarship in a specialized area of theological studies. The PhD is a research doctorate, and requires students to give evidence of the highest standards of scholarship at every stage of the degree program. STH PhD degrees are to be distinguished from other PhD degrees by their focus on diverse theological approaches to the histories, communities, cultures, practices, conceptual systems and questions, and ethical values of Christian traditions (and other faith traditions, resources permitting); and by their intention to prepare students for scholarship and teaching in a broad range of institutions, including schools of theology, divinity schools, seminaries, colleges, and universities. The full text of the PhD handbook may be found on the Advanced Studies website.

Tuition & Housing Costs

Cost of full tuition plus university fees, health insurance, and annual stipend of $22,000 for five years of study is awarded upon admission. Housing costs are market rates in Boston, Massachusetts, and are the students’ responsibility.

Tuition Assistance

All students admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy program are awarded full tuition fellowships plus a generous stipend for the first five years of study. The Federal Direct Stafford/Ford Loan program is also open to students in the Doctor of Philosophy program.

All fellowship recipients must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.3 and comply with all requirements detailed in their fellowship award letter.

The purpose of BU doctoral fellowships is to allow students to devote the time necessary to completing their studies in a timely fashion. For this reason, students receiving doctoral fellowships may not be employed during the five-year period of the fellowship, at least during the eight months of the academic year (outside employment is permitted from May 1 to August 30). Students awarded fellowships or other financial support for their studies from outside Boston University must immediately inform the Office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the School of Theology. Those awards can very much be worth pursuing as they may extend funding into the summer months, but they may also affect the funding commitment from the University. Learn more about financial aid on the School of Theology website.

Hispanic/Latina/o Faculty

Alejandro F. Botta
Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible

Jonathan Calvillo
Assistant Professor of Sociology of Religion

Cristian De La Rosa
Clinical Assistant Professor of Contextual Theology and Practice, Director of Contextual Education and Community Partnerships

Rady Roldán-Figueroa
Associate Professor of the History of Christianity

Hispanic Centers and Programs

STH Hispanic/Latina Student Association.  The purpose of the Hispanic/Latino Student Association is to provide space for students at the school of theology who are from or share the culture of any Latin America country, to support each other, and to discuss the needs of our specific community.

HYLA and Raices Latinas Institute. The Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy and Raices Latinas Institute are coordinated by Dr. Cristian De la Rosa of BU School of Theology. Both include summer intensives in BU School of Theology (STH) and sometimes in multiple sites for HYLA. They provide occasions for youth and young adults (respectively) to gather, learn, explore issues (such as identity and leadership), and inspire one another. Both initiatives accompany Latino/a students through their formation processes in the church, community, and academy—bridging gaps between Latino communities and religious and academic institutions. Doctoral students have opportunities to give HYLA and Raices Institute leadership to build up young Latino/a leaders for ministry and for future leadership in the church.

Library Resources-Special Collections

The Library primarily serves the STH community with graduate level collections to support the courses you will take and several significant research level collections.  STH holdings number over 150,000 volumes including print, audio, video, microfilm and a rapidly growing collection of electronic resources.  The Library’s special collections are concentrated in the areas of historic interest to STH: Methodist history and theology, biblical texts and translations, liturgy, worship and spirituality, missiology and hymnology.  The archives contain historical materials relating to STH and the records of the New England Conference.

The Theology Library’s collections complement those available in the other Boston University libraries.  STH students have full access to all the BU libraries defined by the use policies of each library.  STH students are able to use and borrow materials from the theology libraries in the Boston Theological Institute (BTI).  Before visiting one of these libraries, you should obtain a BTI card from the Theology Library Circulation Desk.  You can also borrow materials from libraries within the Boston Library Consortium.  You can search area catalogs here: http://www.bu.worldcat.org.  Materials will be sent via courier to our library once you have made a request in WorldCat Local.  You may also go to the Circulation Desk at Mugar Library to obtain a BLC card to borrow materials at the libraries themselves.

Other Resources

Hispanic Summer Program. The School of Theology sponsors students and faculty each summer to participate in the Hispanic Summer Program (HSP) – an ecumenical program in theology and religion that seeks to train leaders in the Hispanic Church. More information may be found at https://hispanicsummerprogram.org/whoweare

Students of Color.  The Students of Color is a student organization through which students of color in all degree programs gather together for mutual support, advocacy, networking, and program-sponsorship.

HTI Scholars

Xochitl Alvizo
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
California State University, Northridge

Jasmin Elise Figueroa

Awilda González
Professor of New Testament
Centro Educativo de Estudios Bíblicos 

Yara González-Justiniano

Roberto Mata
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Santa Clara University

Mónica Isabel Rey

Rady Roldán-Figueroa
Associate Professor of the History of Christianity
Boston University School of Theology

Angel Santiago-Vendrell
Associate Professor of Evangelization
Asbury Theological Seminary

Seth Anthony Villegas

Contact Information

The HTI person to contact for information on PhD studies at Boston University is:

Name:     Bryan Stone
Title:        Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism; Co-Director of the Center for Practical Theology
Phone:    617-353-2456
Email:      bpstone@bu.edu